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Chili Crab

Courtesy of Lobster Place/Cull & Pistol Test Kitchen

There are few things we crave more than a well-prepared sweet and spicy Chili Crab. This version is our own family recipe that we’ve tweaked and perfected over time. Aside from finding the freshest crab, the key component to this recipe is in the homemade chili oil. A little bit goes a long way in developing that heat! We’ve tried this recipe using both Dungeness and Stone Crabs and you can’t go wrong either way. Whichever one you choose, dig in, get your hands dirty and enjoy one of our all-time favorites! Oh, and be sure to serve these crabs white rice on the side to sop up that extra chili sauce.

Chili Crab


  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Oil, or to taste for heat (recipe follows)
  • 2 Garlic Gloves, minced
  • 1 Tblsp Ginger, minced
  • 2/3 Cup Chicken Stock
  • 4 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup Ketchup
  • Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Tblsp Sugar
  • ½ tsp, Szechuan Peppercorns
  • 4lbs of live Dungeness Crab, cooked whole (7 mins/lb), then cleaned and broken down into pieces
  • (Substitute: 4lbs of cracked Stone Crab)
  • 2 Scallions, thinly sliced


Place a large wok over medium-high heat and add the chili oil, garlic and ginger. Sauté for 30 seconds and then add the chicken stock, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, sesame oil, salt, sugar and peppercorns. Mix the ingredients together and bring to a boil. Once the sauce is seasoned to taste and has the right amount of heat, add the crab and continue to toss until it is well coated and the meat is heated through. Transfer the crab and sauce to a large serving bowl and sprinkle with scallions. Serve with white rice.

Chili Oil:

  • 2 ½ Cups Canola Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Sesame Oil
  • 1 Cup Chili Flakes
  • 1/3 Cup canned Black Beans, rinsed & chopped
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 Tblsp Ginger, minced

Add the canola oil and sesame oil to a pot and heat over low heat until it reaches and maintains a temperature of 200 degrees. Add the remaining ingredients and let everything simmer for approximately 15 minutes. Once it’s done simmering, remove the pot from the burner and allow the oil to cool to room temperature. After it’s cooled down, transfer the oil and the other contents in the pot to a jar or container with a tight sealing lid and store in your cabinet for up to 6 months.